Ectopic Pregnancy Treatment

Ectopic Pregnancy Treatment

An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg grows outside of the uterus. Almost all ectopic pregnancies—more than 90%—occur in a fallopian tube. As the pregnancy grows, it can cause the tube to burst (rupture). A rupture can cause major internal bleeding. This can be a life-threatening emergency that needs immediate surgery.

If you do not have the symptoms of a fallopian tube rupture but another health care professional suspects you may have ectopic pregnancy, we may:

Perform a pelvic exam
Perform an ultrasound exam to see where the pregnancy is developing
Test your blood for a pregnancy hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)

Symptoms of Ectopic Pregnancy

At first, an ectopic pregnancy may feel like a typical pregnancy with some of the same signs, such as a missed menstrual period, tender breasts, or an upset stomach.

Other signs may include:

Abnormal vaginal bleeding
Low back pain
Mild pain in the abdomen or pelvis
Mild cramping on one side of the pelvis

At this stage, it may be hard to know if you are experiencing a typical pregnancy or an ectopic pregnancy. Abnormal bleeding and pelvic pain should be reported to your obstetrician–gynecologist (ob-gyn) or other health care professional.

As an ectopic pregnancy grows, more serious symptoms may develop, especially if a fallopian tube ruptures. Symptoms may include the following:

Sudden, severe pain in the abdomen or pelvis
Shoulder painWeakness, dizziness, or fainting
A ruptured fallopian tube can cause life-threatening internal bleeding.

If you have sudden, severe pain; shoulder pain; or weakness, you should go to an emergency room.

Ectopic Pregnancy FAQ

How is ectopic pregnancy treated?
What medication is used to treat ectopic pregnancy?
When is surgery used to treat ectopic pregnancy?
Can an ectopic pregnancy affect future pregnancies?